Your feet pound the path. Your breathing is deep but steady. As you lengthen your stride the trees along the path become a blur. Then, a hundred yards ahead of you, you spot the blockade—three people walking abreast and chatting cheerfully. They probably don’t even realize they’re blocking your path. You clear your throat, but the pedestrians are engaged in conversation and do not hear you. What do you do? It feels rude to shout, and even ruder to barrel your way between them. Runbell lets you communicate your presence in a polite way. The clear ring of the bell cuts through traffic and conversation noise to get the attention of others who share the trail or sidewalk.
Runbell lets you alert pedestrians, bicyclists, and other joggers that you are drawing near, without having to shout a verbal warning. It produces a bright, clear “ring! ring!” that cuts through ambient noise. It is also a more polite solution than a warning shout or a last-second, grunted, “Coming through!”
We designed Runbell to be slightly oversized, to fit even large hands comfortably. Two pairs of silicone inserts are included with every Runbell, so you can reduce the ring size to fit YOUR finger perfectly. On cold days, leave out the insert and wear Runbell over your gloves.
Slide Runbell onto your index and middle finger. Adjust with the removable silicone inserts.
Reach with your thumb, and push the hammer forward or pull to the side. Release, and enjoy Runbell’s signature ching!
After passing people, be sure to thank them for giving you room. Raise your hand, wave your Runbell, and say, “Thank you!”
Our products encourage a more effective sharing of public spaces. Runbell brings the sound of music to jogging paths in cities around the world making these paths safer for pedestrians and runners alike.
Describe your product in 3 words.
Handheld Running Bell
How did you come up with the idea for this product?
In August 2011 while living in Tokyo, my son was born (Kevin here). All of a sudden I had a lot less time on my hands. To maintain my fitness regimen while juggling the demands of work and fatherhood, I started jogging back and forth to the office every day. The streets of Tokyo are constantly bustling with crowds. Amid the noise and commotion, I discovered that a gentle "sumimasen"—or “excuse me”—often doesn't work, and anything more aggressive is considered rude. At first, I started running with a universal bike bell. With the bike bell in hand, I could warn and pass pedestrians no matter which route I took home. Over the next year I designed Runbell, launched on Kickstarter, and started production after successfully fundraising our startup capital.
What makes your product special?
A wearable bell for runners is the first ever created and the only one like it on the market.
What has been the best part of your startup experience?
I love using the finished product, the result of thousands of hours of hard work.